UFC lightweight contender Paul Felder wants Conor McGregor out of the division’s title picture.

After a 15-month absence, McGregor will be returning to the Octagon on January 18 when he faces Donald Cerrone in a welterweight matchup. It will interestingly be at 170 pounds instead of McGregor’s usual weight class in 155.

Some believe it’s because he wants to face Jorge Masvidal next. UFC president Dana White, meanwhile, claims it’s because he didn’t want to deal with the weight cut as he plans on facing Khabib Nurmagomedov right after.

Felder is hoping it’s the former, especially ahead of his pivotal lightweight fight against Dan Hooker in the UFC Auckland headliner on February 23:

“That’s what I’m hoping, because he wants to fight at 170 and he’s hunting that Jorge Masvidal fight, then let him do that,” Felder told MMA Junkie. “Take him lower down the rankings so that guys like me and Dan Hooker, who are putting in work at 155 pounds, guys like Justin Gaethje, get him out of our way and let us fight for the belt in those big fights.

“If he’s still in the rankings in the top three, top five, guys are going to want to fight him, guys are going to want to call out. They’re going to wait to try to fight him and it just mixes things up. It muddies stuff up for us.”

Felder certainly has a point. But even with a win against Hooker, he would likely need one or more two wins at the least before thinking of getting a title shot.

What do you think of Felder’s comments?